For students at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, trying to secure a prime study spot in the library during the "reading days" before Finals Week has become as harrowing and dangerous as trying to purchase $2 waffle iron on Black Friday. Trampling! Pepper spray! These are now part of their library experience.
This video featuring a crowd of William & Mary scholars waiting outside their library seems to show a student getting up off the floor after being knocked over in the rush for study seats. Trent Sterneck, the student who shot the crowd footage, described the scene to the Virginia Informer student newspaper:
"Tensions were high as 1:00pm approached. A group of girls attempting to ‘cut the line' were quickly sent back by an onslaught of dirty looks. One girl in line told me she had pepper spray and was ready to use it if things got rowdy. Another student, clearly ready for the long haul, showed me the coffee maker he planned to smuggle in. As the doors opened, the crowd rushed forward and someone appeared to fall and get trampled. Fortunately the chaos was short lived and, to my knowledge, no one was seriously hurt."
While it's encouraging that these students take their education so seriously, studying at College of William & Mary's library (named the Earl Gregg Swem Library, for you hardcore libraryspotters out there) sounds way too intense and crazy to be healthy. You don't have to pepper-spray your way to an A, kids! There are calmer options, like staying at home and wearing your headphones.
Are you a college student who has witnessed and/or documented depraved Finals Week acts? Email me your tips: firstname.lastname@example.org.